This blog is dedictated to our son, Zander.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Reading, Writing, and Walking

Baking and decorating cookies the day after Thanksgiving, 2009.

Zander has become quite the artist in the past few weeks. He loves to draw pictures of his dad, me, Phineas and Ferb characters, his friends from preschool, and on and on. You know what this means now? I need a card for a party, I just ask Zander to make me one and he does so gladly.

At the same time, he's also trying out letters. He knows how to type his name but he has skated around handwriting for a long time. I haven't it pushed it, figuring he'll get there eventually. Seems we are there now, although still at the threshold. He likes to write Z and S and E and O. About two months ago, if he wanted to add something to the grocery list, I told him to write. His reply, of course, is "I can't" so I offer to write it down lightly if he will trace over my letters with a pen so they are darker and I can read them. This has worked well! This morning he "wrote" COCOARAGEOUS. Yes, as in chocolate cereal. It's a treat we sometimes indulge in.

Speaking of treats, we've stopped giving candy for using the bathroom because potty training is done. Now Zander can earn treats by helping around the house. This is going brilliantly.

He loves to do crafts and continues to love anything to do with space and robots. He can dress himself (socks are tough, though). He has been spending more time lately online playing games on PBSKids and Club Penguin and seems to be especially taken with word games as he works on learning how to read. We have a standing agreement that he can get a Club Penguin membership once he learns how to read (he's a freebie user right now). He and Matt have also been playing Pokemon: Battle Royale or somesuch on the Wii which Zander loves so much that the first thing he says to his dad when he gets home from work is not, "hi dad, I missed you" but "can we play pokemon?" because I won't let Zander loose on the Wii during the day. The TV and computer are enough screens to manage.

Thank you, Crayola, for washable nontoxic markers.

Elinor, oh, Elinor. She is still cruising and particularly enjoys hanging on to your pants or hands and walking with you. She has yet to take her first independent step although there have been many close calls (aka face plants or butt plops).

Her bad habit of late is scratching. She gets frustrated, tired, or excited and wildly flails her clawed hand up and down my neck and chest, face, arm, or whatever skin is within reach. I am usually the victim--and look it. I keep trimming her nails but that only helps a bit. So I've been telling her firmly, "stop scratching," and setting her down if she doesn't obey. She understands. After a few days of this, she now stops when I ask her to. I also try to redirect her attention from whatever is exciting or frustrating her. Sometimes this means putting her to bed because she's too tired to be held and fall asleep. She'll cry for a few minutes and, poof!, go to sleep.

Elinor's favorite word lately is "bah." It previously was "ahgoo." We've been trying to teach her "ma" and "da" -- for obvious narcissistic reasons. Or practical, depending on how you slice it.

Her favorite foods lately are banana, pears, squash, peas, and plain organic cheerios. She does not prefer the gerber melty stars now that she has cheerios; I have no idea why. Sometimes she will gnaw a barley teething biscuit (Earth Made brand I think) but she does not so much love them. Since we are heading into winter soon, we started a liquid baby vitamin (no rickets in this house!) and that has received a lukewarm reception for the past two days. If she won't take it from the dropper, I might try mixing it in with her water even though she generally only drinks 3/4 of her water (I think the last 1/2 inch is hard for her to get out so less water isn't the answer). Better than nothing.

Elinor is sleeping better as the routines we have been putting into place for the past few months are taking hold. She chooses whether or not to nap and when during the day, which is the typical mid-morning and mid-afternoon naps. Like her brother before her, she is flexible enough about sleep so that our lives don't revolve around being home for her naps. When she gets sleepy I put her in her bed and sometimes she will cry out a few times but goes to back to sleep. She goes to bed for the night around 9pm, give or take an hour, usually waking to nurse around midnight and then going back to bed until 7am. She still sometimes wants to nurse at 3 or 4am but that schedule was more sleep deprivation than I could handle so we stopped the middle of the night nursing.

Due to her and I both being light sleepers, we had to put her in a pack'n'play in my office a month or two ago when I got very sick and needed to sleep. We want to move her to her crib in the kids' room (where she naps during the day) with Zander but she needs to get a little better about sleeping through the night. Maybe by the new year. Zander is excited to share his room so otherwise that transition is going well. I figure we'll get a year or two out of this arrangement before Zander will be too old for sharing with his sister.

Elinor is a solid little girl. She's just so solid and here. A few months ago Matt marveled at how easily Elinor fit into our little family. I figure if we bread 'em and raise 'em, that is just what is going to happen, but I agree, it is pretty awesome nonetheless. Earlier today, I put Elinor in her crib for a few minutes so I could take care of something. When I went back for her, Zander was in the bedroom, jumping up and down for his sister, who was giggling madly. A good fit indeed.

November 21, 2009


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